Recent popular movies such as “Bad Moms” and “Girls Trip” depict excessive alcohol use as a funny way for moms to blow off some steam and connect with girlfriends. Moms drinking used to be considered taboo, but today it is becoming more and more the cultural norm for moms to be having wine during afternoon playdates with their kids or pouring a glass of “mommy juice” to take the edge off while making dinner. But how much is too much?
According to the National Institute of Health, “at risk” or “heavy” drinking for women is more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks per week. Women who abuse alcohol are more likely to develop health problems such as breast cancer and cardiac issues, and mental health issues, such as mood and anxiety disorders.
A healthy relationship with alcohol involves balance and moderation. An unhealthy relationship with alcohol involves drinking to cope with negative feelings, such as stress, overwhelm, frustration or loneliness. This type of self-medication can become a downward spiral that can actually exacerbate feelings of depression or anxiety.
Signs that you may have a problem include:
- Drinking more than you planned
- Having difficulty moderating your drinking
- Often thinking or even obsessing about how much you are drinking
- Drinking in secret or minimizing/lying about your drinking
- Turning to alcohol to cope with stress or other negative feelings
If you can identify with any of these symptoms, consider counseling or therapy. A trained professional can help you develop different coping skills for managing stress, relationship issues, the challenges of early parenthood or any issues with which you are dealing. Getting help doesn’t mean you are an alcoholic; it is merely a positive step to nip a problem in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue. Treatment can be highly successful. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.
Article written by Joyce Marter, LCPC